Maliki: enough about reconciliation
Last week Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki mocked Iraqis calling for national reconciliation and dismissing them as self-interested conspirators. On Friday, he elaborated on his views of the current Iraqi political scene in a very intriguing, and frankly troubling, interview with al-Arabiya.What Maliki said was that reconciliation is complete in the Shiites won. Of course the Sunnis probably don't see it that way and knowing now that they are not going to get anything more from the Shia controlled government I wonder how much longer before they start using those shiny new weapons that Petraeus just gave them. If the current reduction in violence is actually real this is probably just the eye of the hurricane not the end of it.
…[In the interview, Maliki argued] that Iraqi national reconciliation has not only already been achieved, it is “strong and stable and not fragile”. There is no civil war in Iraq, or even any real sectarian conflict anymore - the sectarian hatreds incited by “some” in the past have been overcome. He made clear that he does not equate national reconciliation with political progress at the national level: “I think that national reconciliation will come about not as some understand it, as a reconciliation with this political party governed by an ideology or a specific mentality.” Real national reconciliation, to Maliki, takes place at the local level, when “you can go into the street and meet with a Sunni in Shia areas or with a Shia in Sunni areas, where they live together once again.” That, he suggests, has happened.
The various Sunni awakenings demonstrate reconciliation at the local level, and their support for his national government. He claims that people who fled mixed Sunni-Shia areas are now returning (or are welcome to do so), and that the people now reject sectarianism in favor of national unity and his government. True, some politicians are still demanding reconciliation, but he dismisses them as “minor political parties” whose tiresome complaints now fall on deaf ears with the people.
…this amounts to a public declaration by Maliki that there will be no further efforts to achieve political reconciliation. Don’t expect any more national reconciliation in the form of “legislation” or “benchmarks”, Maliki is signaling.
Cross Posted at OOIBC